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Sunday, January 15, 2012


a few months back, a friend came up to me and said, "you know van gogh during his career as a painter, managed to sell only about one or two paintings during his life, cut off his ears and then committed suicide." he added, what happened after he passed on is now seen as 'success' worldwide which means wealth or money by van gogh's standards can't be a definition of success. to which i agreed.

putting that in perspective though, while i like van gogh, i am almost certain that i have no reason to be him and therefore i don't need to be van gogh to consider myself successful. i too believe that hypothetically, if van gogh was still alive today, he might not think any other better paying profession besides being an artist would fit him.

so i guesss, that just made the first two paras of this entry seemingly pointless. but there is a point to this, in which i believe the definition of success isn't as important as HOW we define it. so are many other definitions in this world, it is HOW we define it that matters and not the definition.

so, how do we define success? fame? followers? power? what? you see each person has his own way of defining success. but when in a group, success then becomes nothing but mathematical averages in which the definition of success is then defined by aligning the views of the majority. saying this means, how the society defines success will reflect the advancement of the society itself.

it is quite apparent that here in malaysia success is still defined by how much money one have. for example, MLM business, i doubt that anyone when he was a kid, wants to sell instant coffee for a pyramid scheme, but all ambitions are lost due to the pressure of keeping up with the society. awarding moviemakers who achieved high box office collection for instance is another example which is rather bizarre. it's like giving money for someone who has a lot of money. whatever one does isn't important for as long as money is in the play. X = money = success in which X here could be anything you could think of. this X is also the reason why a lot of things in malaysia are still in the gutter.

i'm not saying we can't see wealth as a success factor, we can if we want to as i believe we don't all have to be like van gogh to be considered successful. there is no definition good enough to measure success anyway. but one thing i am sure of, for as long as we see success being 'how much money we have,' we will never produce our own van goghs.